FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Brucewood by Maurice L. Rothschild September 4, 2014


The season in Chicago is almost turning into Fall, since Labor Day is over. Time to start thinking about felt and velvet hats. And the pretty things that adorn them.


Putting flowers on a felt hat is a long established tradition. This probably 1940s hat has a grouping of flowers that adds just the right accent. Sometimes the theory that less is more has it’s place in the world. Many of us would love to cover a hat with more, but back in the 40s it was a conservative time during the WWII years. Luckily even tho many supplies were rationed, and buying an entire new outfit was less common, ladies still loved a new hat.

This hat was from Chicago, tho many may no longer recall the label of Brucewood of Maurice Rothschild. This is the only Brucewood to cross my path, and it would be great to know more.


The hat is from the store of Maurice L. Rothschild, a long standing company of mens and womens fashions, tho long gone.




Chicago Millinery History: Marshall Field’s State Street-Part 2 April 13, 2013

In Part 1 on the topic of Marshall Field’s State Street store there was attention given to the Visitor Center of the now Macy’s and their nod to history.

For women of elegance and means the highlight of the store was the 28 Shop.

The author of “State Street: One Brick at a Time”, by Robert Ledermann, takes us into the opening of the shop on September 30, 1941. A gala affair was held, including outdoor searchlights, ala Hollywood movie openings. A butler announced arrivals, who had been sent engraved invitations. 500 invitations were sent. It is likely not too many women chose to skip this event. A new hat, and ensemble would have been needed for such a public affair.

The name 28 Shop is derived from the private entrance at 28 Washington, with direct elevator access to the 6th floor area. Both Mr. Ledermann, and Gayle Soucek in her book “Field’s: The Store That Built the City” discuss the design by Joseph Platt, who also designed the set for Gone With the Wind, a movie of no little fame. The large room had 28 dressing rooms with decor that could only be considered opulent. A favorite part of the description is of lace covered ceilings in some of the rooms. Lunch could also be served, again another way to keep the customer happy, and potentially shopping…for hats.

A look at the entrance to the 28 Shop on April 10, 2013 gives us a modern day glimpse at the glamor inside. There is also a framed vintage photo of the salon in the early days. Below the photo are two comfortable chairs. One might expect those are for the men who patiently wait, even today, as women enter the world of high fashion.


The look of current fashion greets the potential customer in a most modern setting.


One who is on a mission of millinery tho is hard pressed to find any. The vintage photos on the wall shall have to do.






And finally we find the one photo of a woman being fitted with a 1940s style tilt hat!


Credit is due to the current designer for having the insight to acknowledge that millinery purchases were as important as the rest of the ensemble. Sadly there were no current hats on display in the department. Could one hope they had all been purchased and not yet replaced? Several display cases with handbags and other accessories were scattered through the area. It seems something must be done to bring back the hat. Here are a few photos of wonderful items that beg for just the right hat.





What hat in this store should be paired with this strong statement classic look jacket? I imagine another trip is needed to the first floor to see what is in stock. This writer is not a stylist, but could certainly suggest, if only there is a glimpse of hope to bring back the hat, into the famed 28 Shop on State Street.


Chicago Millinery History: Vintage Hats at Randolph St Market August 26, 2012

My daughter was right. She told me I would love the hats at the Randolph St. Market in Chicago. This event was not news to me, but this year was the year not to miss this fun.

Held monthly for a weekend, there is an outdoor part with lots of distractions, and probably a few good hats, if one can handle the 90+degree Chicago temperatures.

NOT for me.  I was on a mission anyway to see a certain vintage seller, who I had met in Feb. in Elgin, thinking I would get there the next month to see what other treasures she had. Kimberly Oliva of Estate Chicago on Etsy brought along a hat we had convod about thru her shop. At this event she is able to set up a wonderful selection of vintage goodies, of accessories, jewels, and assorted temptations. She does know her hats.

Along the way a Michigan seller had the best offerings for me, and a desirable hat went home for my viewing pleasure. Vintage Allure is a stop I would make again at this Market, and would love to visit in MI as well. Time will tell, but she tells of more Chicago hats in her treasure trove, sparking my imagination greatly.

On the far right is a Chanda straw hat with fruit that was as pretty on the inside as the outside:

Some pretty clothing with hats interspersed almost diverted my attention:

But finally focused on the back wall there are a couple of hat boxes:

Too excited to even think about taking a picture, I asked the seller about the hat way up high. Teresa Postema graciously pulled down a mannequin from a top shelf all covered in pearls, and a small pearl accented hat.  Some readers may be able to imagine the maker, as he was highly regarded in Chicago, with the initials of BBG. This is the hat that went home with me:

Moving into the main room, along with Kimberly Oliva we find Zelda’s Attic:

She too had a delightful Chanda hat:

Back to back with Zelda was a new seller of exquisite handbags, Kevin G. Notice these are handbags, not purses:

Scattered among the handbags are a few choice hats.

This wide brim straw was stunning:


The daisy straw tilt and the pink rose tilt are almost lost with the beauty of the other items:

The best hat was the Betty Coed:

There are still plenty of terrific hats left for anyone visiting the Randolph St. Market 8/26/12, or even in Sept.


IL Millinery History: Morris, IL July 15, 2012

Filed under: French Market,hat,millinery — froufrou4youyou @ 1:31 pm
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Morris, Illinois is a town about 75 miles from Chicago. It must have a rich millinery past, as the world of antiques and vintage is alive and thriving there.

Whimsy is a charming shop on the main drag of antique and pretty thing heaven. Purchasing some ribbon from the Etsy shop,  brought along a card in the package about the 3 Hens French Country Market held there monthly. The visit to this along the canal was better than looking at the canal:

Tents of treasures and even regular market fare abound; approx 100 of them. Started by 3 French Hens, and now the treasure of Whimsey owner, Traci Tessone and Ruby Begonia’s Monica Vogel there is something for everyone. BUT WAIT! Very few hats, and less than a half dozen vintage ones, and no hat mannequin heads to be found for sale. Hmm, maybe someone should do something about that. Here are a couple of photos.

Along Washington Street and environs, there are many shops, but even the venerable Morris Antique Emporium, situated between Whimsey and Ruby Begonia had no more than the French Country Market.

This must be a case of inadequate shopping, and will require further exploration. Aug 11, 2012 is the next market, but most any day works for the shops.

Saving the best for last are some photos of the Whimsey shop:\

IF you are enjoying the fun on Aug 11 and see a gal in a white trimmed straw cloche, that shall be moi. Perhaps I need to learn some french before returning, and wonder what the word for hat is in french.

Happy Hatting!


Raymond Hudd Millinery Award for School of Art Institute of Chicago Silent Hat Auction April 20, 2012 March 17, 2012

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago annually awards outstanding millinery students with the Raymond Hudd Millinery Award. The funds for that award come from donations, and it is time again for another silent hat auction for this fund.

Oct, 2010 a small fundraising event was held with members of CHIC, Charming Hats in Chicago. This almost annual event will again provide all money donated for the awards this spring It has been expanded now to include other interested hat lovers.

Many people are aware of Raymond Hudds life devotion to millinery in Chicago. His friend, Eia Radosavljevic, on the faculty at the university created the award for students in the fashion program in millinery at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Yes, that is the world renowned art museum in Chicago on Michigan Avenue with the lions out front.

The event will be held April 20, 2012 from 6pm until 9pm by invitation at Belmont and Sheridan Road in Chicago. An invitation is obtained by reply to this blog post for complete details. There is no charge to attend, and light refreshments will be served. There is a cost for parking, with a discount coupon for that, if it is mentioned you would need parking when replying in the post. The space is limited. Public transportation is just outside the door.

In 2010 a hat show was held at the nursing home Raymond was living at the time. Another was planned for the summer of 2011, but unfortunately Raymond passed on to his great reward. His brother Ivan had several hats that were destined for that show with the expectation they would then be used to fund the Award.  The earliest known Raymond hat with blue and black feathers is our showpiece, as it has his first label inside.

There are two other hats also from Ivan:

There will be other Raymond Hudd hats from the personal collection of Mary Robak and Iris Sholder. Only spring straws from the Raymond Hudd hats will be included.

There will be other Raymond Hudd hats added when the photos are complete. There will also be other non-Raymond Hudd hats included from the collections of Mary and Iris. Some of those photos also will appear here along with these:

The total number of hats for the auction has not yet been determined, but keep watching as some of the additional ones will be added.

Hope you can join us Friday April 20, 2012 in Chicago.


Happy National Hat Day 2012 January 15, 2012

Here we are celebrating the 2012 National Hat Day. And what hat will you be wearing?

It is a challenging decision; old hat or new hat. For vintage lovers there might be dozens of hats vying for the honored role of the hat of the day. For some it may be just the right reason to head out and buy a new hat, or stay in and shop online. In my self appointed role of hat fanatic today, perhaps you might follow my encouragement to find a milliner to create one just for you. There are many, many out there. Searching the internet will bring you many. Or you may find one while  reading a recently released ebook on millinery; Hatatorium: An Essential Guide for Hat Collectors on Smashwords.

If one lives in a temperate climate the chance of finding one that screams classic fashion may be the best choice. The blue Irene of New York had started it’s life decades ago and was sold at a Saks Fifth Avenue store. There is a great chance it was in the Chicago Saks store, as it originally belonged to a Chicago socialite.

If one lives in a warm climate the chance of finding one that shields a person from the sun may be the best choice. This Adolpho II was in New York when it was for sale for $47, possibly in the 1960s. It would be perfect if you were in Wagga Wagga, AU at the International Millinery Forum. But then if you were attending the forum, you would have created some of your own.

If one lives in a cold climate the chance of finding one that shields a person from the cold would be the best choice. This new red knit hat started in an unknown location, but was owned by another wonderful Chicago woman,  Nora Kepler.  This type of hat that would work well in Chicago today, since it is below freezing, as usual for January 15.

And what about the next generation of hat wearers? Don’t forget to give a special young lady a hat today too. Whether it is red, white, or blue does not matter, but it is National Hat Day. Any of those colors  may be a good choice after all.

Have fun, and, please, wear a hat!